From Lancaster County: A Little Trip to Whoopie Pie Heaven
You know that feeling when you bite into something so rich and tasty that it’s the only thing you think about, and it just dominates your taste buds? Well, I experienced that over and over and over again, eating delicious homemade whoopie pies. Yep! Whoopie pies! And the best part of it all, there were over 400 different flavor combinations to choose from. I know, I know, that’s crazy, right? Where on earth would I find 400 different types of whoopie pies? The Whoopie Pie Festival in Lancaster County, PA, of course!
Have you guys ever had a whoopie pie? If not, let me tell you how amazing it is. Essentially, whoopie pies are small cakes consisting of a top and bottom layer of cake with a layer of cream in the center. It’s sort of like a giant, baked Oreo cookie (and yes, there were a few I tried that tasted EXACTLY like an Oreo cookie).
Traditionally, and what you typically will see most often with whoopie pies, is a chocolate cake with a white cream filling, otherwise known as the “classic” filling.
But this festival, held only once a year, is home to over 400 different types (It's crazy! I know!). There, of course, was the classic whoopie pie with chocolate and cream, but they had so many more combinations that I never would have thought of.
There was pumpkin classic, pumpkin with cream cheese filling, and chocolate cakes with 10+ different types of fillings (one of those was maple bacon; I'm not sure how I feel about that one). They had orange pies with classic cream, strawberry with cream cheese filling, blueberry with raspberry filling, and some adult pies with adult beverages mixed into the cream and/or cake.
They had chocolate-dipped, some had a surprise candy in the middle, and they even had cotton candy filling with a vast array of different cakes! There were rows and rows and rows of whoopie pies, as far as the eye could see.
Picture the produce section of a market. Can you see it? Now envision it just filled with whoopie pies, that’s how many there were, and they kept on coming!
Some pies were made in excess as so many people liked them, so they were restocked! It was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.
Whoopie pies weren’t the only thing at the festival—but before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you a little more about where this event was.
The Whoopie Pie Festival is held every year in Ronks, PA, in Lancaster County at Hershey Farm Restaurant and Inn. It’s a little farm in the heart of Amish Country, and you’re bound to see some traditional Amish farmhouses and artifacts on your way there. The main attraction is the giant tent of whoopie pies, with an endless number of delicious goodies.
They also have a smorgasbord-style restaurant that serves authentic and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch food. They had everything from pork and sauerkraut, Amish filling and mashed potatoes with gravy, to chicken pot pie, chicken corn soup, and my personal favorite: PA Dutch ham balls.
Next to the restaurant, they had a gift shop with Lancaster County souvenirs and some clothing and crafts created by local artists! There was a farm with lamas and chickens (the ones with crazy-looking hair covering their faces, more like chickens with afros), a beautiful lake in the distance with geese and swans, and some local craft vendors selling their handmade treasures.
It’s not a huge event, but boy is it sure worth going to in order to see all those whoopie pies.
So why are whoopie pies so special? Well, they are a staple of the Amish. A simple dessert made from excess cake batter in an effort not to waste ingredients.
They may not be fancy or complex, they’re even a little messy, but they mean something to me.
Growing up in PA, whoopie pies weren’t strangers to me. However, I never had one until I visited Lancaster County a few years prior. At this outdoor market in Ephrata, I saw these small cakes wrapped in cellophane. I gave my money to an Amish gentleman who, in return, gave me a delectable treat and, honestly, a different perspective on life.
When I bite into a whoopie pie, it reminds me of simpler times, simple ways, and of life before we were consumed by technology and “the finer things.” They take me back to when there wasn’t industrialization. Instead, there were fields until the eye could see, and people lived off the land.
Whoopie pies make me see that life can be simple, and yes, it can be very good that way.
That's all for now,
Gude nacht, FCI!
What's your favorite flavor combination?
Pumpkin Classic, Strawberry Cream Cheese, Orange Classic, Vanilla Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies 'n Cream, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Banana Chocolate, Blueberry Raspberry, Vanilla Cotton Candy, Chocolate Mint Chip, Red Velvet Buttercream, Lemon Orange, Coconut Marshmallow, Confetti Coffee, Peach Buttercream, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Chip, Marble Classic